A homeschool portfolio is a collection and keepsake of samples of your students’ work, assignments, grade records, and reading lists over the course of their homeschool year. These are normally kept in a 3 ring binder, but can also be done digitally. I like to store samples of artwork, extra curricular activities, and collect brochures and handouts from nature classes or field trips that you have taken.
A portfolio serves as a record keeping tool, but is also fun to look back on each year and see how your children have progressed. Some states have homeschool laws that require you to keep a portfolio for a certain amount of years and you can be called on to have that portfolio of work reviewed, so it is important to always have that up to date.
Depending on your state laws and reporting, you may have the option to either have your student tested with a standardized test, or evaluated by a certified teacher. You can find out your state’s homeschool laws on the HSLDA website.
Since we homeschool at our own pace and have some learning disabilities, I have opted out of testing my children. Instead, I am able to have their portfolio evaluated and “signed off” by a local homeschool mother who has a teaching license. This is so helpful and eases a lot of stress for a child that has testing anxiety.
If you aren’t very organized, or you wait until the end of the school year to get your portfolio in order, this can be pretty stressful. Ask me how I know! I have nightmares of piles and piles of papers for FOUR children that I have had to sort through. This panic escalates when you are trying to get ready for an end of the year portfolio review date. With just a little planning and weekly or monthly preparation throughout the school year, you can have your portfolio ready for a review without the added stress and last minute scrambling.
Also, be sure to grab this FREE End-of-Year Homeschool Checklist!
Here are some FREE printables and resources to help you get ready for your child’s portfolio review:
We have created a Portfolio Review Checklist to help you put together your portfolio. You can check off each item as you add it to your binder to make sure you haven’t forgotten any important information. Click HERE to grab this as an instant download!
If you use Homeschool Planet in your homeschool you will be thrilled to know that you can create a homeschool portfolio in just a few clicks with their amazing features! Find out more in this article on Easy Homeschool Portfolios with Homeschool Planet.
If you use Time 4 Learning in your homeschool they have an automated system that grades lessons and keeps reports for your student portfolios. All the work is done for you! Find out more about Homeschool Portfolio Evaluations and how easy they are with Time 4 Learning.